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Wednesday, February 11, 1998
Defense gets its turn in Zamora trial
By CHRIS NEWTON / Associated Press Writer
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Crime scene evidence contradicts
an account former Naval midshipman Diane Zamora gave police of
how she helped kill a 16-year-old girl, her attorneys tried to
Edward Hueske, a forensic expert, testified that splattered
blood on Adrianne Jones' thighs could suggest she was carried
to the field where her body was found.
"It is possible that she was carried...The blood on her
legs is consistent with quite a bit of handling of the body,"
Ms. Zamora's confession in the December 1995 slaying stated
Miss Jones escaped from Ms. Zamora's car through a passenger window
and fled to a nearby field, where she ran into a barbed wire fence
and collapsed. Ms. Zamora never mentioned that Miss Jones was
But Hueske conceded under cross-examination that the blood
on Miss Jones' legs also could have come from her hands, which
photographs show were covered in blood.
The comments came during the defense's opening day of testimony,
which several attorneys observing the case said was ineffective.
Many of the witnesses called seemed to have little knowledge of
the case and didn't provide testimony that suggested Ms. Zamora
didn't participate in the crime, observers said.
A plastic surgeon testified that Ms. Zamora's left hand was
severely injured in a car accident months before the killing,
but defense attorneys never seemed to make a connection between
the accident and her ability to participate in the crime.
Prosecutor's countered by confirming that Ms. Zamora was right-handed
and healthy enough to pass a Naval medical exam months later.
Later, the defense called an attorney who testified that he
thought the police officer who took Ms. Zamora's confession was
But under prosecution questioning, the witness conceded he
had never met the officer and was basing his opinion on a police
After that testimony, the defense requested an early recess
Monday afternoon, prompting speculation among those watching that
Ms. Zamora might take the stand early Tuesday.
"If they don't call her, they might as well fold up their
tent and go home," attorney Bill Lane said after watching
A gag order on the case has kept attorneys from revealing whether
they will put Ms. Zamora on the stand. If convicted, she faces
life in prison.
Defense attorneys have said they will try to use possible discrepancies
between evidence and Ms. Zamora's confession to show she was lying.
"We're going to show that the statement Diane made to
police could not have been accurate and was given under duress,"
lead defense attorney John Linebarger said last week. "She
did not commit capital murder."
Based largely on the written statement, prosecutors contend
she helped then-fiance David Graham kill Miss Jones because of
a one-time sexual encounter she had with Graham. Graham will be
tried separately for capital murder later this year.
The confession is crucial for state attorneys because they're
prosecuting Ms. Zamora under the "law of parties," a
statute that makes any accomplice to a crime guilty of the worst
offense committed in its commission.
Both sides agree that Graham allegedly fired two fatal shots
at Miss Jones but prosecutors have used the confession and other
evidence to show that Ms. Zamora helped by hitting Miss Jones
over the head and telling Graham to shoot her when she fled.
Also Monday, defense attorneys tried to show that Ms. Zamora
was led to believe by police that she was assigned a lawyer during
a September 1996 interview in Annapolis, Md.
Lt. Cmdr. Patrick McCarthy testified that he was assigned to
find an attorney to represent Ms. Zamora after she requested counsel.
While looking for a lawyer, McCarthy said he was told by police
Ms. Zamora waived her right to one. He said that he spoke to her,
but never said he was her lawyer.
"I gave her some instruction on the honor code,"
McCarthy said. "She wanted to know what the implications
were of her telling her friends she had been involved in a murder
in Texas and if it would adversely affect her career at the Naval
academy. She said she had lied about the murder ... ."
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